News Cente –TDO – Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrii Sybiha and his spouse Tetiana Sybiha have hosted a reception at Ankara Sheraton Hotel to mark the occasion of Ukraine’s 27th day of independence and the anniversary of Ukrainian-Turkish diplomatic ties.
The reception was attended by Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez, Commander of the Army General Ümit Dündar, President of Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affaris Volkan Bozkır, President of Defence Industry İsmail Demir, former EU minister and Negotiator in Chief Egemen Bağış, President of Crimea Association Mükremin Şahin, as well as many diplomats and heads of mission.
In his speech, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez thanked Ukrainian officials for the close interest the Ukrainian government showed for Turkish investors and said “We hope that the present level of USD 2.2 billion investment of Turkish firms in Ukraine will increase in the future”.
Dönmez emphasised that Ukraine is Turkey’s strategic partner and said “I believe that in the coming period we will set new records in investment together that will exceed expectations”.
Minister Dönmez stated that the peoples of the two countries had historical ties and friendship and announced that a meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine Strategic Council would take place in the coming months, to be presided by President Recep tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and President Petro Proshenko of Ukraine.
Dönmez said that in addition to visa-free travel between Ukraine and Turkey, as of June last year travel without passport had begun. He stated “We have begun to see the mutual benefits. I hope that the millions of tourists will increase each year”.
Ambassador Sybiha said that as well as Ukraine’s independence, they were celebrating the centenary of first diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ukraine.
Ambassador Sybiha emphasised that the relations between the two countries are at the level of strategic partnership and said “We continue to develop cooperation in many fields, including the political, military, economic, social, cultural and educational”.
Sybiha said that Turkey and Ukraine had never been geopolitical, ideological or economic rivals in the past and added “Thanks to the mutually complimentary economic structure, we have gained the advantage of developing our relations on a win-win formula”.
Ambassador Sybiha said “Turkey remains our key ally in the Black Sea region” and thanked Turkey for its unflinching attitude on Crimea and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Sybiha said “Today Ukraine has become a symbol of freedom, that has not given up on its fight for its own and Europe’s future. We thank all of our friends who stood by us and gave us support in this struggle”.
Ukrainian pianist Alexy Botninov and Turkish percussionist Burhan Öçal played a concert of eastern and western themes at the reception. There was also an exhibition of motanka puppets that represented the embroidery and traditional attire of all regions of Ukraine and of documents related to Turkish-Ukrainian ties from Ottoman Archives.